The Hybrid is a weekly preview of every Big Ten game, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate.
Iowa helped us power through last week's weak ass slate with a dominating win over Fitz and The Tantrums. But a new week brings some decisively better games, so let's get to the preview.
I'm just... way too proud of that "Fitz and The Tantrums" nickname/joke.
/Northwestern cat growl sound byte
Aright, let's get this going.
Clemson (21) at Wake Forest: Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Friday Night Lights
Presbyterian at Ole Miss (11): Is this seriously a game. Also, as a big Laquon Treadwell fan, this was heartbreaking.
Baylor (12) at Oklahoma (15): Pretty cool game, but would it have killed at least one of you to grab a single digit ranking for this?
Georgia (20) at Kentucky: Well, the dream is over. Gurley has not yet been freed, but Georgia's now at two losses. One of those was against Florida. So really, they're at, like, three losses.
Wisconsin (25) at Purdue: I beat the drum last week for Wisconsin to get ranked, and now that's finally happened. Their reward? This polished turd of a game. And shout out to the Badgers' passing game, which had 5.1 yards per passing attempt in their victory over Rutgers... who had 2.1 YARDS PER PASSING ATTEMPT ARE YOU SERIOUS GARY NOVA.
Penn State at Indiana: Do we feel bad that Christian Hackenberg gets pissed at his supporting cast sucking? I feel like we can't possibly allow ourselves that sympathy. If we're going to heap praise* on Hack for going to Penn State during such dire circumstances -- knowing the team was sanctioned and depleted -- homeboy can't act surprised when the dumpster fire flames get fanned on occasion. They're down scholarships; that's just how it's gonna go sometimes.
(* - we... probably never did that, either)
* * *
Related: it's killing me Maryland isn't playing this week. We'll save my thoughts on their "controversial" no pre-game handshakes vs. Penn State until the Terps are back on the slate. My only hope is someone can make a Vine of their gesture...
...synced to DJ Khaled's "No New Friends".
Iowa at Minnesota: OFFENSIVE JUGGERNAUT Iowa takes on
lost-to-Illinois JUGGERNAUT Minnesota. The implications for this game are surprisingly relevant. If we win, we stay perfect in the division and on track for the season ending showdown with Nebraska. If we lose, we get to hate everyone again. It's a real win-win.
* * *
Re: last week's Northwestern game ... Though I pinned some hopes on a nice game from Kevonte Martin-Manley -- and, in his defense, 3 receptions for 66 yards is certainly solid -- it was Tevaun Smith who shined brighter. He had one more catch than Manley, 10 more yards, and was the only Iowa receiver to score a touchdown. And it was prettyyyyyyy.
Duke (22) at Syracuse: Oh hey, Duke's ranked.
Georgia Tech (24) at North Carolina: Reader Paige passes along this top flight image from Miami's eventual blowout victory over UNC last week.
And no, I don't ever get tired of bringing these truths to this fine readership.
Michigan at Northwestern: Dave Brandon...?
Back to the cheese recipe blog for you, Davey boy.
Got damn, I can't describe the feeling I got when I heard the great news last week. The best comparison I can make is when the 2007 Miami Dolphins beat a 4-9 Ravens team to move from 0-13 to 1-13. Then people started saying crazy shit:
Three plays later, Camarillo broke over the middle on third down and had two steps on the secondary when he caught a pass from Cleo Lemon [ed- LOL] near midfield. Finding himself in the clear, Camarillo sprinted to the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.
"It was like watching one of those plays in slow motion, and it's the Super Bowl and the miraculous catch and all those things," teammate Vonnie Holliday said. "It was up there like that for us. Maybe not for everybody else, but for us it was up there with all those great catches -- Dwight Clark and all those guys."
Then the Miami owner (emphasis mine)...
"It was exciting for me," Huizenga said. "In my suite it was like winning the Super Bowl. It was up and down all game, and with the 17-0 team here and being honored at halftime, to pull it off in this game for those guys, that was special. It was very emotional for me."
And those idiots sum this up perfectly. It's this amazing thing that's going on in the middle of many, many, many worse things... but I'll be damned if it doesn't feel like winning the national title. Sure, Wayne Huizenga never actually won a Super Bowl, so he had no basis of comparison, but sometimes events take place and give you such a sky high level of hope, you can only compare it to greatness you've never even experienced. Almost like when people say they felt like they won the lottery when something good happens. I just... I hate Dave Brandon.
(Epilogue to that infamous Miami win: they lost their remaining games and finished 1-15.
Epilogue to that season: the Dolphins drafted Michigan OT Jake Long No. 1 overall -- fresh off his loss to Appalachian State!
Epilogue to that epilogue: the next year, Wayne "Super Bowl" Huizenga sold his majority shares in the Dolphins to Grade A Michigan Man Stephen Ross, who, less than two weeks ago, said he "would not stand in the way of any decision" about Dave Brandon's fate after originally supporting him when the backlash came. SEE, I knew I could tie this all together.)
Texas A&M at Auburn (3): The Kenny Trill* dream is so dead, it's like waking up from a bad dream then immediately getting punched in the face, then having your house collapse in on you. Emerging from the rubble? Kyle Allen. He's a 6-4 true freshman, pro-style, and the No. 1 overall QB recruit (Rivals) in the 2014 class. All of this seems cool until you realize he's gotta deal with Auburn on the road. But still.
Speaking of Auburn... regular readers know I'm a big Gus Malzahn fan. So, well, this week was tough:
Say it ain't so, Gus!
(* - seriously; getting benched *then* suspended for two games? that's just doing it right)
Notre Dame (10) at Arizona State (9): Arizona State is in the Top 10?! How did that happen?
/looks up last week's game
They beat Utah! Utah nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
Poor Utah. Maybe this unarguably great picture of Keith Van Horn dunking can cheer us up.
/clicks link again
As for ND Nation, this is probably our last chance to have them lose before they get into the playoff and ruin everything. Their remaining games after this are really weird: Northwestern (?!? but they couldn't have played MSU?), Louisville, then at USC. They are the weirdest bunch of fucks sometimes.
West Virginia (23) at Texas: West Virginia is the best.
...still have "U Can't Touch This" stuck in my head.
Tennessee-Martin at Mississippi State (1): There needs to be a cut off line in the CFB season where games like this can no longer happen.
Washington State at Oregon State: ...
Did Connor "The Limiter" Halliday limit his interceptions to one or two a game?
How many interceptions did he throw?
Who did Washington State lose to?
It's not about that today, guys.
@PappaMeighen 22 years of hard work I was 3 god damn games away from my dream 3 freakin games away from being drafted and living my dream— Connor Halliday (@c_halliday12) November 2, 2014
That's right, mere days after Halliday said "the timing of my college career just kind of sucks," he hurt his leg and is now out for the year. It's a tragic end to a tragic career. Sure, Wazzu wasn't going to a bowl game, but he had passing records to shatter and an NFL career to prepare for. Now? It's all in doubt. Total bummer.
Here's to a speedy recovery, Limiter. We're going to retire this running segment from The Hybrid out of respect. To his credit, he never once threw more than two interceptions in a game all season. Sure, they lost most of their games, but certain goals were met, people. I miss him already.
* * *
Taking his place? Luke Falk. He's a redshirt freshman, walk-on, and 2-star recruit whose other football option was Cornell. Yes, this all sucks. The good news? Mike Leach says he "works harder than anyone on the team." You're right, that probably means nothing and also is terrible. Welp, good luck against the Beavers, Luke! Shoulda been you, Kyle Allen.
Virginia at Florida State (2): Seriously, the ACC has to be worse than the Big Ten, right? Maybe?
Well, we both have four ranked teams. I'm calling this a temporary draw.
Kansas State (7) at TCU (6): TCU seems ranked high, no? This is a team who gave up 61 to Baylor less than a month ago.
Alabama (5) at LSU (16): Game of the Week.
Though that's relying a lot on LSU, who seem more preoccupied with POLITICS.
I'm not sure what I have to say to get you Big Ten folks to watch this game. It's Tiger Stadium at night, it's potential Heisman invitee WR Amari Cooper, it's Sabes -- Sabes!!! -- and even though 'Bama is favored by 6.5, can you ever write off The Mad Hatter when he's in primetime at home?
Ohio State (14) at Michigan State (8): Second guess Sparty playing at Oregon as much as you want, but there's a reason they're in the Top 10 right now and tOSU is just looking in. Michigan State's in an optimum position to continue to turn heads. Hell, they've already grabbed the attention of injured tOSU QB Braxton Miller. If you hadn't heard, MSU LB Taiwan Jones had this to say earlier in the week:
Pressers starting. Connor Cook and Taiwan Jones. Jones on J.T. Barrett, says he has a "better arm" and is "a way better QB than Braxton."— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) November 4, 2014
Gotta love when defensive players take middling shots at star QBs. It reminds me of the time the 2007 Patriots beat the Jaguars in the playoffs but Jags safety Reggie Nelson dismissed Tom Brady by saying "anybody can go 26-of-28 in a dump-down game."
I swear I'm done comparing 2014 college football to the 2007 AFC East.
Braxton Miller, the floor is yours:
Never heard of the kid #34 ☕️ 4 yrs unnoticed. pic.twitter.com/D5einZv6RS— BRAXTON MILLER (@BraxtonMiller5) November 5, 2014
He hit him with the Kermit meme in emoji form!!!! Don't do 'em like that, Brax!
If emoji memes aren't enough to amp you up for the surefire Big Ten game of the year, then... maybe regular memes will do the trick?
Haha, making that just now was so worth it.
Colorado at Arizona (19): No time for you this week RichRod, I'm afraid.
Oregon (4) at Utah (17): To get us all fired up for this dope PAC-12 game, we're gonna run back the Keith Van Horn dunking picture, only this time, we can publish it because I added the Oregon logo to his face as a goatee.
Bless you, laws.
Also: did y'all know Marcus is the Heisman favorite again? Felt like that kind of snuck up on us. I guess a lot of it had to do with him "passing the test" against Stanford, but I was so positive of that outcome going in, it almost meant nothing to me when it actually happened.
Lastly, <3 <3 <3 <3.
Oregon facility has room set aside specifically for scouts to evaluate film pic.twitter.com/tO2eDFbkME— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 31, 2014
Wrapping It Up...
Don't be like Urban Meyer and eat your pizza alone on Saturday. Instead, come hang with your friends at Crunchy's. pic.twitter.com/GSRkvVDzdY— Crunchys EastLansing (@Crunchys) November 6, 2014
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Black Heart Gold Pants. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or e-mail at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.